Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Driving the California Coast

Today we decided to drive the famed California HWY 1 to see the dramatic rocky shore and sweeping ocean views that flank the Pacific Ocean from Monterey to Big Sur.  But before we committed to the better part of the day in the car we felt compelled to hike, if nothing else, just to tire out the dog.  Our campground is located at Laguna Seca Recreation Area and Raceway (which is really cool to camp at a racetrack) and adjacent to BLM land that has 86 miles of gorgeous trails.  Perfect!

Ford Ord is a retired military base that was established as a  National Monument in 2012. 
The beautiful hills are some of the last undisturbed lands on the Monterey Peninsula.
The land is administered by the Bureau of Land Management and allows multiple uses - including sheep grazing.  Spirit thought they were the most boring dogs she has ever seen.
Our day of driving started out by exploring the 17-Mile Drive – considered one of the most scenic drives in the world.  The 17-mile stretch of road takes you through the Del Monte Forest, along the Pacific coast and past the famous PebbleBeach Golf Links.  Spirit actually got to walk on the famous golf course in the foot steps of Tiger Woods and Jack Nicholas and Arnold Palmer!

Point Pinos Lighthouse is the oldest continuously operating  lighthouse on the west coast.
Pebble Beach
Big Sur was our destination because of its reputable beauty and it would be time to satisfy our craving for lunch.  While in Paso Robles (at the dog park) someone recommended we eat at Nepenthe in Big Sur.  Apparently we were not the only ones who jump in the car on a beautiful sunny day and drive to Big Sur for lunch.  Luckily we arrived early because the crowds followed.  The prawn BLT and cheese plate were delicious but the sweeping views from this old stone building perched on the cliff were incredible. 

Not a bad view from Nepenthe.
Our day of driving was well worth the $4+ gallon of gas we are paying in California.  And it was really nice to come back to our relaxing campsite and watch the Formula cars zip around the racetrack as our campfire began to heat up.  

There's the rig with the racetrack on the far left of the picture.
And now it's time for a Spirit picture...or two.

Can you spot the happy dog running on the beach along the 17-Mile Drive?
here she is, sandy face and all! 


  1. Michael says he doesn't need to hike Fort Ord, "I probably hiked all 56 miles of those trails" in 1964-65!! Great photos!

    1. I don't think there is a place in this country that you all have not been. You are the two most well-traveled folks we have met. Would love to see you all again!

  2. Sounds like a destination on our Pinterest list.

    1. Our entire coastal CA trip has been wonderful and is Pinterestable. (that's my new word)

  3. Would you mind if from tine to time I used some of your photos as models for some of my paintings?

    1. Absolutely not, your paintings are wonderful and we love giving you inspiration.

  4. Love your blog! We may have to back track, and visit some of the places in California. Beautiful pictures.


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